Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Grip Weeds/The Factory Playboys @ Taphouse Grill, Norfolk, VA (10/10/02)

Though I love the selection of flavorful beers and ales available at this 21st Street haunt (Anchor Steam being a particular fave), I'm not as fond of the prices. Maybe it's due to my cheapskatedness, but no pint of provision should cost more than a super-sized meal from Carls, Jr. (the West Coast version of Hardee's, to those on the Ewe Ess's right side). Of course, the alkie liquid ingested by snobs tastes better, but this Abercrombie & Bitch 'tude towards the cheap stuff makes me puke all over the Air Jordans (spiffy with Dockers) these big spenders are afraid will get scuffed. Recently, a grab-rag from Vaaa Beeech featured an article defending the taste of Budweiser. The author, while expressing a strong affection for Bass and Rogue, illustrated how marketing and hype play a role in selective imbibition. He wrote that if Ripple were to change its name to something remotely French and decorate the bottle with scenes from a lush countryside, the beverage would be hailed as the latest nectar of the gods by those who downplay Lowenbrau as a fake import. Taking the wise man's counsel, I chose to forgo the type-A pints of brew-blood in favor of a Red Cross overstock flowing from a 72 oz. Milwaukee's Best donation. Needing a place to transfuse, I'd thought about sneaking the river of life into the Tap's bano but wanting to be a good patient got the better of me. Thus, I visited an off-duty nurse's quarters (whose own circulatory system had been low by twelve ounces). Thirty-three minutes later, we were both percolating with the spark of ultra-caffeinated Folger's crystals. Strange brew, indeed. Extending an invitation to the show, the nurse politely declined for she would have to assist in the removal of a snake-sized tapeworm formed by a deficiency of Mike's Hard Cranberry Lemonade the following day. We traded adioses and I briskly walked towards the Tap to get "The Beast" a-pumpin'.

Clotting with a handle that would be apropos for a Joy Division tribute act, The Factory Playboys swam in a red sea stocked with choice cells from the fifties/ sixties. Normally, all-covas doctors (i.e., the malpractitioners who infect the stage of Smackwater Jacks...one time was all I needed to get my three steps outta there, mister) would be met with a knife wound from yers truly, but the 'Boys administered the right medicine. Pills from Bo Diddley ("You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover"), Randy Newman ("Have You Seen My Baby?" [also done to great effect on a Big Bobby And The Nightcaps b-side, for you low-cal historians]), Chuck Berry ("I'm Talking 'Bout You"), Barry & The Remains ("Don't Look Back"), The Sonics ("Strychnine"), and Chocolate Watch Band ("Are You Gonna Be There [At The Love-In]?") went down like a post-tonsillectomy vanilla cone from Doumar's. Suggested procedures for the next check-up: Kinks ("I'm Not Like Everybody Else"), Nightcrawlers ("Little Black Egg"), Standells ("Barracuda"), and The Rolling Stones ("The Last Time"). Play those and I'll never eat apples again.

Opening their offices amidst the non-harmful bacterial strains of Cream's "I Feel Free," New Jersey's The Grip Weeds treated the sikk with old remedies which've been proven to combat the toughest illnesses for nearly forty years. Rob Thomas Stomachache (first detected in the nineties) was coated with the easy-to-swallow Byrdsy relief of "She Surrounds Me" and "Rainy Day #3." Dave Matthews Congestion (origins in South Africa, though a rash of outbreaks would later occur in Charlottesville) blocked nasal passages only temporarily, due to Who-esque percussion-heavy lozenges of "Save My Life" and "Loves Lost." Bon Jovi Eczema (traced from a barmaid in Asbury Park, NJ) itched like crazee until a gentle Zombies-like balm was rubbed in a "Moving Circle." Sometimes Marcus Welby, sometimes Timothy Leary -- The Weeds' book smarts and groovy gumption combine to make castor oil lubricate yer insides with a psyched-out sweetness. Spoon up!


  1. I'm actually working on a favorable review of Budweiser right now!

  2. That's why WFB rules! Haven't read the review yet, but I'm guessing there are some comments on how well a Bud draft goes with a burger and fries.